So I get Spacewalk - A Salute to Ace Frehley in the mail a few days back. Looking at the cover, my first reaction is, How did Dimebag Darrell play for this tribute album? He's been dead for better than ten years. Wait a minute. This isn't a new album at all. It's from 1996. It appears the good folks over at Cleopatra Records got the rights to this work.
To say that this "salute" is interesting is almost a backhanded compliment. It's not bad by any means, but it's not all that great either. The song selection is reasonable, mostly from KISS tunes like Parasite, Cold Gin, Rock Bottom, and the fan favorite Deuce. The artists involved are notable as well including such guitarists Marty Freidman, Gilbey Clarke, and John Norum and vocalists Scott Ian, Sebastian Bach, and Tracii Guins, to name a few.
Mostly, it simply sounds like a poor man's KISS cover band without the make up. Alternatively, it sounds nearly like 1975 KISS hard rock. In this sense, the players definitely caught the period and Frehley's vibe. Some songs are just painfully hard to endure like Rock Bottom, Parasite, Cold Gin, and Rip It Out. Others like Friedman's Deuce, Bruce Bouillet's New York Groove (a Russ Ballard song), and likely the best song here, Dimebag's cover of Fractured Mirror from Ace's first solo album (under the KISS moniker). Thankfully, the authors of the original project had the common sense not to find some artist to cover Beth. That would have tanked this whole tribute. Yet, I'm still wondering if the tapes should have been better left in storage.
Cleopatra Records reissues Spacewalk - A Salute to Ace Frehley, from 1996, and I'm still wondering if the tapes should have been left in storage.
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